Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate
Vol. 3, No. 3
Saturday May 8, 1830
Pg. 2 Col. 3A
From the Christian Advocate & Journal
IMPORTANT FROM THE CHOCTAW NATION.
To the Treasurer of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
CHOCTAW NATION, March 20, 1830
Dear Brother:- I feel it a duty to communicate, through the Advocate and Journal, a knowledge of the very important measures adopted in the late national council of the Choctaws. Deep is the interest felt by the Christian public, on the subject of measures of the national and state government sin regard to the Indians; & fearful have been the apprehensions of all of us, as to the influence of such measures, upon those who had recently embraced Christianity. Any circumstance tending in any degree to calm these apprehensions will no doubt be gratefully received by our distant friends. On the enactment of the late law of Mississippi extending all her laws to the extent of her chartered limits forthwith, and making it a thousand dollars fine, and twelve months imprisonment, for an chief or captain to execute the laws of the nation, the shock upon he feelings of the red people was violent. Some fled from their homes in the vicinity of the whites, and from every public road, to the bosom of the nation. But these apprehensions of danger had greatly subsided previous to the sitting of the council. Time was allowed the people to inform themselves of the situation in which they were placed,and the necessity of determining their future course.
On the 15th inst. a national council was convened on the usual council ground. On the first night Col. Leflore was re-elected chief of the western district, by the unanimous voice of his captains and all his warriors present.
On the 16th, previously to entering upon the business of the council, the chief of the eastern district, Col. Fulsome, and the chief of the southern district, came forward with their captains and warriors, resigned their offices as chiefs, and elected Col. Leflore the chief of the nation.
In the afternoon of the 16th the council was organized and the chief delivered an address in which he presented the council with a full view of the difficulties in which they were involved, and the necessity of determining on their future course. The debate continued to a late hour, when the votes were taken, and it was found that the council determined on the emigration of the nation, if the United States would meet their proposition with the liberality proposed by the friends of such a course.
On the 17th the propositions of the nation were prepared and signed, and on the 18th Mr. David W. Hady left the council ground, as express for the city of Washington, bearing the propositions of the nation.
When the council was opened by the chief and the subject proposed during most of the time he spoke, and for some time while other speakers addressed the council, the voice of bitter lamentation and weeping was heard from some of the females who were present
In the conclusion of almost every sitting, a native hymn was sung, and the chief offered up a prayer to the great spirit, the whole congregation prostrating themselves before the Lord. These were seasons of deep and solemn interest, and constantly reminded me of the days of David and other pious kings of Israel.
From the union and brotherly affection, together with the deep and solemn spirit of devotion which uniformly pervaded the council, and continues to prevail in its dispersion, I am strongly inclined to believe that should the U. States give them a liberal treaty and should Mississippi suspend the operation of her laws, that the work of God in the nation will experience no essential injury by their removal.- But either of the above expectations failing, may ruin the nation.
On my return from the council I have heard from some natives who were not at the council. They appear perfectly satisfied, fully believing that the great Spirit will accompany them and bless them in their new home. As far as I can judge, an entire reliance upon their great Father above, is the principal consolation of the people in this their day of fiery trial. They feel a deep interest in the prayers and Christian feelings of their white brethren,and never could a people have a stronger claim upon a Christian community.